Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Little Zen From The August Sun

The August edition of The Sun came today.  Each addition has an interview.  This month's is with
Norman Fischer, the founder and senior dharma teacher at the Everyday Zen Foundation.  He's interviewed by Corey Fischer.  They haven't found any family connection, but they decided to use first names in the interview to avoid confusion.  Here's just a bit, which seems useful to think about these days.
Corey: If you were to distill Zen Buddhism to its most basic, core concepts, what would those be?
Norman: [Laughs.] Oh, boy. Maybe the simplest and truest thing to say is that Zen doesn’t have a basic core concept. Zen is just appreciating being alive. There’s nothing to it beyond that. But if I said only that, it would be a little silly and disappointing, even though it’s true. So I will say more. . .
"Zen Buddhism is interested in awakening through different ways of looking at the world. It doesn’t try to tell you what the absolute truth is, the way Western religion does. At a certain point in history people began sincerely thinking, “Well, if you don’t believe in Jesus, your soul is in jeopardy. So we should do whatever it takes to straighten you out. That’s an act of compassion because we’re in possession of an absolute, metaphysical truth.” Forcing religion on unwilling others turned out to be a terrible idea."

You can read the whole interview here.

[We've had a lot of nice days and today is one.  It's going on 10pm and the sky is blue with puffy white clouds and I'm sitting on the deck in shorts surrounded by trees.  The picture shows the magazine on the outdoor table next to my computer.  The white lacy thing is a cover to keep bugs out of the food.  It opens sort of like an umbrella.  The bugs haven't been a problem, but some young Steller jays have been coming pretty close before we have to shoo them away.]

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